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tv   Weekends With Alex Witt  MSNBC  March 2, 2013 4:00am-5:00am PST

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nobody bought it or sold it. it is homemade, how is law enforcement in this country going to grapple with homemade high-powered weapons. what will they do when they print the 3-d fully automatic machine gun? the government agency that will have to deal with the challenges of this new technology when it happens is the atf. last month when president obama unveiled his proposed gun reforms at the white house, one thing he asked congress to do was confirm the nominee to run atf, a man named todd jones who has been acting as deputy director of the atf for five years. president obama asked congress to stop hindering law enforcement, and he called congress out for allowing anybody to be confirmed as director of the atf for six years now. this week we got news that even that part of what president obama confirmed on guns, even just asking the director of the law enforcement agency that is concerned with federal gun laws, yeah, republicans in congress
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may just oppose that too. they don't want anybody running that after six years. republicans increasingly make the case that we should not have any knew gun laws, even after sandy hook because we do not need new gun laws, what we need is better enforcement of the laws we have. we don't do a good job of enforcing for gun laws we have. they have made that case over and over again, they made it again at the public hearings. at the same time the continued unwillingness to confirm anybody to run the agency that is enforcing the gun laws we have. they have been stopping anyone from running the agency since 2006, they still think that is the right thing to do for the country. maybe watching this 3-d image of it spewing out some 600 rounds,
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that does it for us. "weekends with alex witt" starts now. they're here. massive across the board budget cuts are now in effect. can congress and the white house cut a deal before we all feel the pain? and it's tax season, why the irs may have to make dramatic moves to make sure sequestration does not affect your refund. strange and tragic. officials can't get to the sinkhole that happened suddenly and one man yet to be found. business news, controversy brewing over one of america's most popular beers. is there too much of one ingredient in the mix? welcome to "weekends with l alex witt." alex is off. i'm craig melvin.
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the first full day of sequester. the government will start cutting some $85 billion officially triggering reductions that here pose the congress failed to avert. >> it's important to understand we won't feel the cuts' pain right away. many will have their lives disrupted in a significant away. house speaker john boehner spoke to david gregory for "meet the press" right after the meeting with president obama on friday and other congressional leaders. >> in the end, we will see a pathway here that's open. >> if i did, the meeting at the white house might have gone better. >> $85 billion is a 9% domestic
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program defense and 13% to defense. hundreds of thousands of americans could be affected. kristen welker has more from the white house this morning. >> reporter: president owe became kra and members of congress are waking up with the knowledge that the $85 billion in spending cuts have gone into effect this morning. this after an 11th hour meeting on friday which yielded no results, only bluster. both sides digging in their heels. president obama says he won't accept a deal that includes new revenues. republicans saying they won't accept a deal that includes tax increases. so as of right now, negotiations are stalled. the halls of the capitol are empty. lawmakers have gone home for the weekend. meanwhile, americans are watching all of this unfold with worry. with the knowledge that as many as 750,000 workers could be
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facing furloughs. that will impact government workers. there is also a concern that educational programs, including head start programs could be impacted and the defense department. warnings national security could be affected as well. the is sequester will take plac over time. over the next several weeks. the public frustration will mount and ultimately that will pressure republicans, but the big question mark, will that actually happen? the next big deadline is march 27th, when the continuing resolution needs to be dealt with by congress and the conventional wisdom is lawmakers will deal with the sequester at this time. back to you. >> kristen welker from 1600 pennsylvania on this saturday morning. amie parnes and ed o'keefe, good
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saturday morning to you. >> good morning. >> what happened in that friday meeting? what do we know? >> essentially nothing, craig. and i would say that you had house speaker john boehner talking about standing his ground and saying we passed two bills, it's the senate's turn and harry reid saying sorry, but that was last time, the last congress what have you done for me lately? so you have the standoff in the room, and, you know, house speaker john boehner you saw a few minutes about, talking to reporters, but we're not compromising on revenue, but the president got what he wanted on taxes, we won't do that this time around. >> ed, much of the past week has been spent finger pointing. blame game has been quite prominent in d.c. over the past few days. any way to objectively say who is at fault here? >> frankly, we might as well forget that and look ahead.
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certainly there was a lot of that this week classic washington parlor game, when all is said and done, essential the white house that brought the idea to congress while at the same time some on capitol hill were thinking about it, but the white house will turn around and say, well, it was congress that approved it and we agreed it was something we would work to avoid. and they gave themselves an extra two months with the fiscal cliff around new year's day, couldn't get it done and washington just resigned to it happening, the question will, it go through exactly as it was set to do? will they perhaps make some tweaks? is this it? will fiscal 2014 begin on october 1st with the budget battles over with, or will they role on? >> let's look ahead and talk about who is most likely to start feeling the cuts first? >> they are across the board. you saw the president appear in newport news, virginia, earlier
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this week. military bases, military agents and the white house talked about that this week and last week. and saying travelers will face longer lines because tsa agents are furloughed. head start programs, lots of teachers, and it's all the way across the board. lots of people feel it. and some people won't feel it. that was part of the problem. the white house was counting on the fact that they could use the same strategy they used on the payroll tax debate and people would rally behind them. that didn't work. some people won't be affected. friends of mine that won't be affected in washington and i don't think could care less, so that was part of the problem. >> ed, that the only reason the strategy didn't work this time? >> the other part of the reason is the point that republicans have been making, the president got his tax cuts in january, we want our spending cuts in march and everybody can walk away say we got a little bit of something.
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and most americans look at this situation and say, look, i don't go to the movies on the weekend, cut the cable bill, don't go to the hockey game. we're trying to save money. and they look at washington and say it's about time washington has tightened the belt because we've all done it. >> a number of polls echo that sentiment as well. amie, what can we glean from the next few budget dates on the calendar. the white house urging agencies. potential startup of partial government shut down on on march 27th. based on how this was handled what does that tell us about how the next important dates will be handled? >> it could take weeks and possibly months, craig. and that's something that the president said yesterday. white house aides say they will push the strategy. the president will take to the road. he will have other events at the white house that sort of talk
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about this. and also -- they don't want to be hampered by this. they will push other -- other agendas, like immigration and minimum wage, gun control. not just this. >> thank you, amie and ed o'keefe, appreciate your time. coming up, we'll talk to robert gibbs in about six minutes. the u.s. supreme court released the audio recording of this week's dramatic argument over the voting rights act. the act is one of the most important civil rights laws ever passed. comments made by justice antonin scalia caused an immediate reaction. >> it is attributable, very likely attributable to a phenomenon that is called perpetuation of racial
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entitlement. it's been written about. whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political process. >> over the noon hour, we'll hear from ben jealous about the comments and the future of voting rights in this country. one day after being swallowed alive by a sinkhole, a florida man is still missing and feared dead. it happened in the middle of the night when 36-year-old jeff bush was sleeping in his bed. his brother tried to pull him out of a sinkhole but couldn't. you can't see the silk hole, because his house rests on it. this is causing a serious problem for rescue officials who can't get down to the 20-foot deep sinkhole. much more for you. the latest on venezuelan president hugo chavez doesn't sound promising. vice president nicholas maduro says he returned to venezuela from cuba because he wanted to be home for the next phase of
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his "more intense chemo therapy treatments." is he battling for his life after undergoing fourth cancer surgery in cuba back in december. meanwhile in rome, the vatican spending its first weekend in eight years without a sitting hope. the doors at castel gandolfo closed behind benedict xivi. at the meet owning monday, they will take the first step toward setting a day to elect a new pontiff. quick look at weather this saturday morning. live pictures, clear skies in new york city. what does the rest of the country awakening too? dylan dreyer here with the saturday morning forecast. >> thanks, craig. good morning. we're talking about cold, cold temperature as we kick off the
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first weekend in march. temps drop down to the 30s, down across the southeast. that's the same case tomorrow morning and again on monday morning too. with the huge dip in the jet stream, you can see cold air extends all the way down to central florida, where temperatures will be well below average. as for snowfall, looks like a lot showing up on storm tracker. most of the heaviest snow through northern new england where they could end up with 3 to 6 inches. and elsewhere through kentucky to tennessee, into west virginia, mostly mountainous snow and also it's pretty light and intensity, not going to see too much in the way of accumulation. atlanta, snowflakes fall with temperatures around 43 degrees this afternoon and chilly and rainy in miami today with a high of 69 degrees. in the mid 40s through the northeast as well. 28 degrees in minneapolis. sunday, snow showers will work into the northern plains through the dakotas and montana, and
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temps told in chicago with 34 degrees. atlanta, highs only top out in the mid 40s. we should start to see some warmer air by the middle of next week. next, roberts gibbs on the sequester and the buzz kill over budweiser beer. [ laughing ] [ barking ] ♪ come on, boy! [ barks ] ♪ oh, heavenly day here we go. ♪ cha-cha-cha ♪ don't you know that i love ya ♪ ♪ cha-cha-cha-cha-cha ♪ always thinking of ya ♪ all around the world ♪ everybody singin' along ♪ singin' along ♪ fly me to the moon ♪ let me play among the stars
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this is not going to be a -- an apocalypse as some people have said. it's just dumb, and it's going to hurt. it's going to hurt individual people and hurt the economy overall. >> that, of course, president obama in his news conference yesterday talking about the impact of the sequester. robert gibbs is president obama's former white house press secretary and a new msnbc
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contributor as well. good to see you, sir. >> thank you for having me. >> president obama, spent much of the past month or so engaged in a very public campaign to essentially try and shame republicans into action, robert. why did it not work this time? >> well, in many ways, republicans after the fiscal cliff negotiations, where they felt like they had given too much on revenue reduction, which they hadn't, they felt like they needed these spending cuts. largely how we ended up where we did with the cuts going into affect. >> do you think the gop was ever serious about trying to avoid the sequester? >> you know, i'm reminded this was an idea put in place that people believed on both sides would be so bad it would compel action, but i think republican
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base, republicans in the house needed and wanted to take back to their constituents today evidence they had cut spending. they say this will hurt the economy, military readiness, but they say they needed it. they didn't have great cards in their hand. they played what they had, and it ended up with something that they want, which is budget cuts. this will definitely have an economic impact, as you heard not just the president say, but the fed chairman say, what comes next obviously will determine the court and the amount of pressure and outcry that may not compel republicans back on the table on this. >> yesterday the president said it won't be the apocalypse as some people have said. look, president obama and other administration officials have really been warning of the apocalypse as much as anyone else. eric holder, saying we'll be
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less safe now. why does the president change his tune a bit yesterday with regards to the economic impact of this? >> i don't -- maybe it was nuanced change. in my book, apocalypse means world ending, and unless there is something contained in the legislation none of us are aware of, the sun will come up in the east. the president spent a lot of time trying to educate the public on what this does mean from military readiness to what it means for air travel in the next several months, as air traffic gets furloughed. not a smooth process to begin with and only going to get worse as we go through these cuts and there is no doubt, there is a macro economic effect that is undeniab undeniable, and our economy will grow less because of these. the recovery less robust because
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of these and most people agreed several weeks ago this was a bad idea. a dumb idea in order to get our fiscal house in order, something we need to do. but a blunt instrument to do it. >> president obama yesterday, he put the blame squarely on republicans in congress. how long does the congress fail to act argument work when you are the commander in chief, robert gibbs. >> look, again, the dye has been cast for several weeks. you saw speaker boehner after the fiscal cliff negotiations at the end of last year, beginning of this year, say no more negotiations, no more going over to the white house and talking this stuff through. in many ways, that wasn't helping his job security in many ways. i mean, republican senator this week said if john boehner gives in on taxes, he loses his speakership. that's what animated republicans this week. they needed to take cuts back to
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constituents. >> if that's the mantra being treated by the gop and house especially, how do we govern? how do we move forward? >> i would say that's the $64,000 question. probably the $64 billion question. i mean, look, we have another deadline coming up at the end of the month, how to fund government going forward through the end of the fiscal year, through the end of september, and, look, i think the white house clearly is betting the public pressure will compel them back to the table. lo look, you bring up the best point. compromise is a word in washington that if you say you have to bleep out. it's a bad word. and many people in congress are far more concerned about a primary challenge from the right in the case of house republicans than they ever are about being in a district where a democrat can beat them. there isn't a lot that compels working across party lines right
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now, and i think -- i think what the president is betting on is this pressure publicly through ending some services that people find obviously necessary, reducing our military readiness and reducing economic growth is really the only tool that he has in his arsenal to move republicans back to the table. you heard him yesterday, you cannot come tell them to do something that fundamentally they don't want to do. >> i want to play a piece of sound, thwe'll talk about it on the other side. >> i asked the president and senator reid to come with a plan to replace the sequester. listen, we've known about this for 16 months. there is no plan from senate democrats or the twous replace the sequester. over the last ten months, house republicans have acted twice. >> set the record straight,
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robert gibbs. >> well, look. there obviously is a plan to replace the sequester. and it's something that speaker boehner won't discuss because it includes revenue, as well as some entitlement cuts and spending cuts. sheer where y here is where you see the point that i made earlier. they wanted spending cuts to take home to constituents. they wouldn't sit at a table anywhere in the country. whether in the speaker's office, oval office or a starbucks in between. and discuss anything that had to do with revenue or more loophole closures that they saw as tax increases, and, you know, again, that's where we're at real lagger heads, republicans want to make this -- make these cuts all out of government spending. the president and democrats want
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to include revenue. that's where we have the butting of heads. and what many analysts point out correctly what we are cutting now are important investments, not the drivers of debts and deficits in our country, and that's what we probably have to get back to in order to have a balanced solution. the problem right now is there really doesn't appear to be a great impetus for republicans to sit down at that table and talk about anything that includes revenue, even if it means summerly closing loopholes. the rate discussion is done. now we're talking about closing loopholes and they are not having any of it. >> robert gibbs, one of our newest msnbc contributors. are you having fun? >> i am having fun. less fun at 7:23 in the morning, but still fun. >> thank you. we'll get you back at a decent hour next time. >> thanks.
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the massive sinkhole that swallowed a florida man grows deeper. go over to facebook and search for "weekends with alex witt." like us. we want to be liked. had never l. the end. lovely read susan. but isn't it time to turn the page on your cup of joe? gevalia, or a cup of johan, is like losing yourself in a great book. may i read something? yes, please. of course. a rich, never bitter taste cup after cup. net weight 340 grams. [ sighs ] [ chuckles ] [ announcer ] always rich, never bitter. gevalia. [ announcer ] always rich, never bitter. all right that's a fifth-floor probleok.. not in my house! ha ha ha! ha ha ha! no no no! not today! ha ha ha!
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however, my net kvs confidence higher. two driving factors, job prospects and this is the biggie. i feel like my house might be worth nor next year. that changes sentiment. even if you are not selling. if you think your house will increase in value, you feel weal wealthier. car sales are up four straight months. what's driving that? >> the average vehicle on the road now is 11 years. that's a long time, so it's facing the point of no repair if you will. so you have pent-up demand. you look at gm's numbers, for instance, the silverado, 30% increase in sales. sales to small businesses, up 40%. that's because construction and housing are coming back. people are buying trucks. >> despite the fact that gas continues to soar. let's talk about this one here. this one has a lot of folks worked up.
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say it ain't so. watered down bud? >> yeah. and i think people have been worked up. since 200ly when a belgian brazilian conglomerate bought the beer brand. there is a lawsuit they are routinely watering it down. a consumer protection law kicks in. are you violating two things. one, the alcohol volume are you advertising on the can is a little off. and, two, you are essentially passing off water as beer. so you are overcharging people for water when they think it's beer, and then makers mark had this with whiskey. it's pretty clear, united states customers don't want you to play around with their alcohol content. the biggest winner may be sam adam, they kicked off the microbrew, classic beer trend. if people think bud is water,
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or 2% cash back on every purchase every day. what's in your wallet? [ crows ] now where's the snooze button? welcome back to "weekends with alex witt." i'm craig melvin. alex is off. topping the news at 7:33. recovery efforts under way at this hour after a tragic sinkhole accident that left one man presumed dead. this is the house where 36-year-old jeff bush was sleeping when he suddenly got sucked into that sinkhole which sits underneath his home. sadly, his brother tried to rescue him, but could not. >> and we heard a loud crash. i ran in there, i heard somebody screaming. my brother screaming, and i -- i ran in there and all i could see was this big hole, and all i could see was the tops of his bed. we jumped in the hole, tried to get him out, and i couldn't get him. all i could hear -- i thought i could hear him screaming for me,
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hollering for me. >> we want to go to gabe gutierrez, live in florida. gabe, at this point, what do officials think happened? >> reporter: well, craig, they are not sure yet. this is a terrifying ordeal. they do know that the sinkhole appears to be deepening, preventing them from getting inside the home and figuring out what exactly caused this scene out of a horror movie. the victim, 36-year-old jeff bush, a part-time landscaper. they heard that loud crash late thursday night at this home. near tampa. the brother rushed in trying to save him. all he could see was a mattress sticking out of the ground. the hole 30 feet wide, 20 feet deep. the brother could not save the victim, and sheriff's deputy has to pull him out. since then, no signs of life, and jeff bush is presumed dead by the family.
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sinkholes are relatively common in florida. reported here more often than any other state. that's because the state sits on this layer of limestone that can face collapse because of shifts in underground wattern caverns. authorities plan to resume their investigation and search this morning. craig. >> gabe gutierrez in florida. thank you. we'll come back to you a little later. back to washington. and readier on not, the long dreaded sequester has arrived. the $85 million in spending cuts kicked in after president obama signed the order last night. half cuts from domestic programs, the rest from the defense budget. the effects of cutbacks will be gradual. >> longer these cuts remain in place, the greater the damage to our economy. slow grind that will intensify with each passing day. >> majority of americans seem to
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be with the president, that he is quest traces will hurt the economy. 56% say in a new gallop poll, and 30% say it won't harm the economy. delays at airports could come with fewer screeners and air tower controllers, transportation secretary has predicted 90-minute delays at the nation's busiest airports because of fewer controllers, and the sequester also apparently forced vice president joe biden's hand and says that air force two will be grounded for weekend trips now. but that's all right with the vice president. mr. biden says he always wanted to take the train back to delaware, but the secret service didn't want him to. now he gets his chance. the navy will have to ground the blue angels. all thunderbird air shows after april 1st have been canceled and other public events like
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flyovers at funerals have been canceled. sequestration will take a heavy toll on the military in general with civilian workers at the pentagon and other bases across the country firm until the crosshairs. i want to bring in rob whitney, a republican from virginia and a member of the armed services committee. good saturday to you. >> good morning, craig. >> the president singled out your state during his news conference yesterday. tau a listen. >> businesses that work with the military, like the virginia shipbuilder that i visited on tuesday, may have to lay folks off. community near military bases will take a serious blow. hundreds of thousands of americans who serve their country. border patrol agents, fbi agents, civilians who work at the pentagon, all will suffer significant pay cuts and furloughs. >> there are a lot of worried folks in the commonwealth right now. how are you helping them prepare for the potential impact? >> we want to let them know that
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we are up here working, trying to find a solution no this. the president mentioned, the impact on virginia, upward of 200,000 jobs, two $20 billion impact to our economy. we have to make sure that we're doing this in the right way. making these cuts in a smart way, and i think that's the key going forward, is making sure that we understand the impacts that it's going to have. this impacts people's lives as the president pointed out. folks in the military, folks in the civilian sector within dod, folks across government. those impacts are significant. we want to make sure we know what those impacts will be and make sure we ameliorate those impacts. >> how can you say that you guys are there in washington to work out a solution, when the fact of the matter is a lion's share left on town on thursday for a three-day weekend. >> i was on the hill yesterday, calling and talking to constituents, many of whom had
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concerns. part of the house armed services committee, talking about the impacts that this will have on military. i was there in washington working hard to make sure i was doing everything we could to find solutions for this going forward. >> let's take a look at some more projected damage. 90,000 jobs, $20 billion potential impact. more than 1$140 million off the budget for military bases. part of the thinking was that republicans could avoid cuts because the military would get hit harder than any other group. even that didn't seem to motivate your gop colleagues this time around. why not? >> well, we've been having conversations with our gop colleagues about the impact on the military what we need to remember too, up to this point, there has already been close to a half a trillion of reduction to our military budget. it doesn't make sense going forward to put another half a trillion of cuts on top of that. that cuts into military's ability to do its job.
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cuts into readiness as we heard the service branch chiefs talk extensively about risk and readiness crisis. so we're trying to let other members know we've already been to the table in reducing military budgets and taking 50% of the sequester cut and placing it in 18% of the budget, not a smart way to go about this. we want to make sure we reduce defic deficit. this is not the smart way to do it. and it cuts at this nation's ability to defend itself. >> it sounds like have you reservations about the sequester now. but you did vote for the budget control act of 2011, which included sequestration. do you regret that vote now? >> no, i don't. that vote was needed to make sure we didn't get to a point where we defaulted on debt and i wanted to make sure we took positive action to reduce spending. i had been vocal about making sure we made rucks the right way and didn't have disproportionate illogical cuts going into play. i've been working for the past
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16 months, saying let's get this done, reduce budgets. but a smart way to do it. this is not the smart way to make that happen. >> you acknowledge that. and the lion's share of fols have acknowledged that. a lot of folks want to know again why did it happen? if you are saying what so many other folks have said, it's dumb, stupid. this isn't how we should cut money out of the budget, why do we do it this way? what happened? why couldn't you figure out a way to get it done? >> i would have liked to have been there. we worked with as many people we knew how toto say here are some alternatives, ways to go about doing this. for a variety of reasons it didn't happen. we have to deal with it going forward. i am hopeful next week through the continuing resolution we can provide opportunity for money to be moved around to provide for important parts of national defense. there are opportunities going forward. we missed opportunities in the
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past. i told members of congress we needed to stay in washington through august. even in september and october, i voted against us leaving town because we had work to do. here we are today. we have to get this done. >> one more vote while i have you here. the violence against women act passed the house and senate on thursday. you voted against the act. can you address that for me? >> i voted for the house version of that and previously when it came before the house, i voted in favor of that. had some reservations about the senate version, some constitutionality issues. i'm very much in favor of addressing these issues. i voted twice in favor of that. i want to make sure we're moving forward with something that doesn't have a constitutional challenge. mange sure we get this on the books and address this issue. >> virginia congressman rob whitman. thank you, sir. i to appreciate your time. >> thank you. >> the internal revenue service, no furloughs will be imposed
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i'm up next, but now i'm singing the heartburn blues. hold on, prilosec isn't for fast relief. cue up alka-seltzer. it stops heartburn fast. ♪ oh what a relief it is! ashley judd is not announcing a senate bid just yet. but the rumored 2014 candidate made one of her first d.c. appearances yesterday. speaking at a forum, she spoke about her own experience with sexual violence. a three-time victim of rape. she did dance around rumors she would make a run for the senate in kentucky and suggested that was the elephant in the room. this week's office politics, richard haas, president on the council of foreign relations, alex talked about the administration policy and whether the public deserves more information on that. but she started by asking him about the notion of the
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government, does it even recognize this? >> whether officially exists or not, in reality it exists. we shoot them with some frequency. and it's obviously become controversial over the criteria of shooting them and the process that leads to individual decisions, particularly for an american, is quite rare is the target. but when we have terrorists somewhere and the host country hanging out is unable or unwilling to arrest them or stop them, we have to send in special forces which is possible, or we've got to do something like drones, and we want to stop these people before they do something destructive against us, and drones are a way to do that. >> how do you weigh the moral concerns against the tactical? >> that's part of any use of
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force. not sure anything different morley between using a drone or cruise missile or something like that to me, the real question is what's smart? done rumsfeld raised an interesting point. he said we want to make sure we're not generating more terrorists by counterterrorism. we always have to ask ourselves the question, are the numbers working in our favor? in the case of the drones, we don't want to alienate populations and governments by going after somebody. so we really want to ask ourselves, is this person really essential? is this a high-value target? are we confident we're going to de get them? and can we get that person without causing "collateral damage? " "what's the likely reaction of the town, of the government. will this convince a lot young men to make a career choice to become a terrorist?
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make a government much less likely to work with us? in some casesist still worth doing this. on other occasions we'll say no. during the iraq war years ago, the iraqis would hide military targets in schools, hospitals. and sometimes you have to ask really tough moral choices. do we go after targets and potentially cause harm? under the concepts of the church and under western civilization, the whole idea of causing harm to innocent is where you violate the canons or the ethics of war. >> what about the level of transparency? so many clamoring for absolute transparency, but you use this in war. >> we're at war with terrorists around the world. it's not a war in the sense of world war ii or the korean war, but it's a war, let's not kid ourselves. no battlefield. everything is a battlefield, everybody is a potential comb
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combata combatant, and so it's -- it's a more difficult conflict if you will, to regulate. so again, we have to take steps in order to try to prevent them from acting. before they -- they do. ith not going to be neat and clean. in some ways, as the kinds of wars we read about in history. and we won't have one day like at the end of world war ii a battleship missouri ceremony where al qaeda will surrender. this is something now ingrained. the part of the woodwork of international relations. we have to be comfortable and consistent with values. we have to do some of this secretly. not able to do it in public. but we've got to do it in a way again, not only that our own society supports, but doesn't society supports or that it doesn't generate or provoke more people to become terrorists.
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>> more of alex's conversation with richard haass today at 12 noon. richard will talk about the biggest security threat facing the united states today. up next, though, why do the majority of americans want the sequester cuts to stay in place? i don't use super poligrip for hold because my dentures fit well. before those little pieces would get in between my dentures and my gum and it was uncomfortable. even well-fitting dentures let in food particles. super poligrip is zinc free. with just a few dabs, it's clinically proven to seal out more food particles so you're more comfortable and confident while you eat. so it's not about keeping my dentures in, it's about keeping the food particles out. [ charlie ] try zinc free super poligrip.
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good morning. the sequester is here. the latest nbc news poll finds that while president obama still has a healthy approval rating, this latest in a spring of bitter debates has taken a big toll in the public's confidence for our future. joining me now nbdz senior political editor mark murray. good to see you so early, sir. >> good morning, craig. >> something i found interesting in this poll, while the majority of people seem to think the spending cuts are a bad idea, the majority also thinks that congress should keep the current cuts, if not increase them, to deal with the deficit. how can we reconcile those numbers? >> overall, the nbc news/"wall
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street journal" poll was bad to. particularly for president obama and democrats. craig, this is good news for the poll. it shows there's an appetite for spending cuts only 14% said they want the sequester cuts but an additional 39% said they even want more. you add that up together that's a healthy 53%. >> let's talk about the president's approval rating right now. he has been declining steadily over the past few months. it seems according to our poll at least. how much of a certain is that for midterm elections at this point? >> i don't think it's a concern right now. what you're seeing that president obama's honeymoon is kind of a little bit over right now after his re-election. after his inaugural address, after the state of the union. so his numbers went up after these events. now, they're starting to come back down. his approval rating still is at 50%, as you mention. that's very healthy. but democrats when you look ahead to 2014, the difference between success and failure is probably president obama being closer to 50%.
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that's very good news for democrats. him around 45% isn't good news. >> this poll, of course, was taken before the cuts went in effect yesterday. do we expect any major changes of opinion once folks start to feel some of the pain? >> absolutely. our pollsters caution that numbers can significantly change, craig, over the next few weeks, if these cuts impact people. if they are felt. now, we do know that a lot of these cuts aren't going to go into effectual at least end of this month, early april. if people do feel these things, these numbers can change in a heartbeat. so while this poll came out before these cuts went in effect, numbers certainly can change. >> nbc news senior political editor mark murray, good to see you, sir. >> thanks. that wraps up this hour of "weekends with alex witt." i'm craig mullen. i'll see you again today 2:00 eastern after alex witt at noon. brace yourself, everybody is in
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place. chris hayes is ready. more smart political talk on the other side of this break. when it comes to your smile, if you're not whitening, you're yellowing. crest whitestrips whiten as well as $500 professional treatments. guaranteed. crest 3d white whitestrips. all your important legal matters in just minutes. protect your family... and launch your dreams. at we put the law on your side.


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